As a whole, 2011 was filled with R&B artists dominating the charts, including the R&B crooner Lloyd. After releasing his highly anticipated follow-up to his 2008’s ‘Lessons in Love,’ the singer took over the charts with his singles off of his latest album ‘King of Hearts’. With his single “Dedication (To My Ex)” still climbing on the charts worldwide, Lloyd has no plans to slow down anytime soon.
The ATL native recently released the video for his newest singles, “She’s All I Want For Christmas” and the Trey Songz and Young Jeezy-assisted “Be The One.” Talking exclusively with Singersroom, Lloyd told us about working with Cee-Lo Green, his reaction to the Michael Jackson comparisons, his holiday plans, as well as what he’s been working on for 2012.
Singersroom: You’ve been having a busy December already, going out to Europe, and performing at Jingle Jams and then also performing on the BET Christmas special.
Lloyd: Which I missed by the way, because I was in Holland. But my mom definitely… I don’t know how she finds these numbers cause she’ll find me all the way on the other side of the world, and call me to say “Baby you did your thing! You killed it!” [Laughs] And other stuff, but I won’t repeat it.
Singersroom: So you still haven’t had a chance to watch your performance?
Lloyd: Nah, I haven’t seen my performance from the Christmas special, but I have a few trusted associates that I know even though I may not see them every day, they always keep their eyes and ears open for me. They all made sure to call me and let me know how it was. I’ve gotten good responses.
Singersroom: You definitely killed it out there, no question about it.
Lloyd: Thank you very much! How was the program as a whole? Was it good?
Singersroom: Yeah it was good. Everyone did their thing.
Lloyd: Good. It seems like it. The day I went… They didn’t do it all in one shot because they had to incorporate so many talented people that it took a little longer. But the day I went, me and Robin Thicke were there and we drank some Johnnie Walker. And Monica was there with Shannon, and it was Shannon’s birthday. Got to see Monica and she was looking incredible as always. Made me a little nervous.
Singersroom: Aww. Why?
Lloyd: Monica was singing that day, and Monica is one of the bravest black voices of our time right now.
Singersroom: How was it performing “She’s All I Want for Christmas” for the first time?
Lloyd: It was organic. The crowd got involved. They were standing up, dancing, laughing. We actually did a whole little piece before the performance where we were just talking. I was talking to the crowd and they were talking to me. We were just cuttin’ up. I think that really made for a relaxed and natural kind of vibe… A good environment.
Singersroom: One thing is that a lot of people have been saying you look like Michael Jackson in your performance. From performance, to singing, to stage presence.
Lloyd: You mean Michael Jackson from Dakota, Georgia, or talking about Michael Jackson from Gary, Indiana? [Laughs]
Singersroom: [Laughs] Well…
Lloyd: We made the song, and I actually said to D. Smith, who produced the song, “This sounds just like Jackson 5 man. Crazy!” From the horns to the drums to the way that we wrote the melody over the verses, it had that feel from day one. That’s fine. That’s cool, because Jackson 5’s “Christmas” was definitely something we were inspired by growing up. We used a lot of what we were inspired by as a group to make something that was our own. We could have never made it without them being around, so I’m glad that you can definitely hear our inspirations in there because they’re definitely just that. They’re our inspirations.
Singersroom: Very true. You actually recently mentioned how artists today are essentially melting pots of their influences.
Lloyd: Yeah totally. It’s just like how they say, you are a reflection of your influence… You’re a product of your environment.
Singersroom: By no means is that a diss at all, but do you get tired of the comparisons at some point? As far as just wanting to be seen as Lloyd …
Lloyd: Well I’ve never got that before, so this is all new to me. I don’t really feel that way yet. [Laughs]
Singersroom: [Laughs] You recently revealed that Cee-Lo is actually on the song as well.
Lloyd: Yeah that’s a surprise. My plan was to altogether release it with me and Cee-Lo from the start, and then BET gave me the opportunity to actually perform it live and kind of premiere it for most of my fans. I thought that was a rare opportunity, and I didn’t want to pass it up. So what I did was that I decided to release it the same time as the performance on iTunes without Cee-Lo at first, just in case people heard it, liked it, loved it, and wanted it to add to their collection. And then, once you start hearing it on the radio and stuff like that, it will be with me and Cee-Lo.
Me and Cee-Lo spoke at the Soul Train Awards and he actually came up to me and said that he thought it was going to be amazing.
Singersroom: How did the collaboration come about? Did you just hit him up about it?
Lloyd: Yeah! That’s A-town all day!
Singersroom: How was it working with him?
Lloyd: Man, it’s an experience just to even have a conversation with him.
Singersroom: How did the video shoot go?
Lloyd: We shot the video before I went out to Holland here in Atlanta, Georgia, at a tree farm, at a place where they actually grow Christmas trees.
Singersroom: You also recently made a YouTube appearance dueting with Keenan Cahill. It looked like you both were having a lot of fun. How was that experience?
Lloyd: I think beautiful minds come in all shapes and sizes, all colors, all kinds of format. Keenan is a beautiful mind. I had a ball. I got to meet his hedgehog!
Singersroom: His hedgehog?
Lloyd: Yeah. Keenan has a hedgehog. It’s pretty cool. I call him Sonic.
Singersroom: A real life hedgehog?
Lloyd: Yeah. I never knew people owned hedgehogs until I met Keenan. [Laughs]
Singersroom: Now you released two holiday tracks this year. Do you ever plan on dropping an entire holiday mixtape or album in the future?
Lloyd: Well I have a mixtape that I’m working on right now, which is consuming most of any free time that I have or that I’m allowed. I don’t really consider it a holiday mixtape though; it’s a lot more street. As far as the holiday music goes, those two singles were really just us getting our expressions out. We were in the holiday mood, so we wanted to record some stuff. It started out as just one song and it ended up as two songs. We’ve got a lot more ideas, which we may or may not release this year, but hopefully next year we’ll have a whole album.
Singersroom: What is your favorite Christmas tradition and why? It can be a family one or a general one…
Lloyd: I just think getting everything ready, like having the real tree in the house, the smell of pine from the real tree, having the Christmas music up on the surround system playing throughout the house, and really just seeing everybody’s faces. The best tradition is waking up to a house full of people, full of laughter, full of gifted smells coming from the kitchen, and just being with family.
Singersroom: What’s been the best gift you’ve given to someone?
Lloyd: I guess you’d have to ask around to really hear the true answer cause I’m always gassing up myself. I think love that’s genuine. The kind of love that lets you know I still love you the day after Christmas the same way I loved you on Christmas, and all the time in between.
Singersroom: What did you want for Christmas this year?
Lloyd: I want more people to stay together in general. More couples to have a stronger bond, something that will last, something that their kids can grow up and aspire to be.
Singersroom: You also mentioned you’ve been in the studio cookin’ up some new music for next year. What can you tell me about that?
Lloyd: The mixtape is still in the beginning stages of being created, so I’m probably not going to talk about that too much.
Singersroom: Now you’re performing in New Zealand for first time next year, as well as touring in Australia. What else do you have planned for the rest of next year?
Lloyd: Man, if I knew everything that was going to happen next year… [Laughs] I’d be playing Lotto numbers and betting on games. I’d be like ‘Back To The Future.’ I don’t know what’s going to happen next year, but I hope that wherever we are and whatever we’re doing, that we’re doing the best that we can do and that we inspire somebody along the way.
Singersroom: What are your plans for New Year’s Eve?
Lloyd: I plan to go somewhere and party, bring it in and have a good time!
Singersroom: Do you have any New Year’s resolutions?
Lloyd: Yeah my resolution is more about giving back a little more. Last year, I donated my hair to charity and it felt good. I just want to do more of that kind of stuff this year.
Singersroom: Yeah I see you’re kind of growing your hair back out now. Are you going to grow it out completely?
Lloyd: Yeah I’m rocking [the] “I just got out of prison” look right now. [Laughs]
For more information on Lloyd, you can check out his official Facebook page at Facebook.com/lloydmusic, or on Twitter at twitter.com/lloyd_YG and his official videos on Youtube.com/LloydVEVO.
—— By: Interview By Connie Tang